29 Jan 2020
Last week, an Amazon employee in Phoenix just happened to be in the right place at the right time to prevent an armed carjacking.
According to a story filed by ABC 15 in Phoenix, officers with the Phoenix Police Department had been conducting intensified patrolling around Cave Creek Road and Cactus Road because of increased crime in the area. On December 4th, officers observed a group of men who were spotted loitering around a bank.
When police stopped to question them, one of the men gave officers a fictitious name before he fled.
The man jumped into the open driver door of an Amazon delivery van that was running at the time. A second Amazon employee was in the passenger seat and demanded that the fleeing suspect, Justin Michael Berthiaume, 27, to get out.
Instead, Berthiaume pulled a gun that he had concealed in his waistband to the passenger and put the Amazon van in gear. In a quick reaction, the passenger, an Amazon employee, set the delivery van back into park, snatched the keys from the ignition, and took off running.
With the delivery van disabled, Berthiaume took off in search of another vehicle to carjack. His next carjacking victim, a woman who was stopped at a light at an intersection, was thrown from her SUV before Berthiaume drove away.
Police found the SUV abandoned a short distance away. The woman was taken to an area hospital for treatment of minor injuries.
After a search of the area, Berthiaume was found by police and a probation officer who had been searching for him. Berthiaume was placed under arrest. He is facing charges of grand theft, armed robbery, and kidnap/seizure.
Berthiaume is currently being held in the Maricopa County Jail.